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Systematic Comparison of Subjective and Objective Measures of Quality of Life at 4-Year Follow-Up Subsequent to a First Episode of Psychosis

Whitty, Peter MRCPsych*; Browne, Stephen MD*; Clarke, Mary MD; McTigue, Orfhlaith MRCPsych*; Waddington, John DSc; Kinsella, Tony MSc§; Larkin, Conal FRCPsych†¶; O'Callaghan, Eadbhard MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: December 2004 - Volume 192 - Issue 12 - p 805-809
doi: 10.1097/
Original Articles

There is enduring debate about the validity of subjective measures of quality of life derived from people with psychiatric disorders and particularly from those with psychosis. We evaluated patients with established psychosis 4 years after their first episode. We compared subjective and objective measures of quality of life and evaluated the influence of insight on the individual's interpretation of their quality of life. Subjective measures of quality of life were derived using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale—Brief Version, and objective measures of quality of life were derived using the Quality of Life Scale by Heinrichs et al. We measured Insight using the Insight Scale. There were robust correlations between subjective and objective assessments of quality of life. This was most marked for psychological symptoms. Self-report measures are valid and should form part of the overall assessment of quality of life among patients with psychotic disorders.

*Stanley Research Unit, Cluain Mhuire Family Centre, Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland; †Stanley Research Unit, St. John of God Hospital, Stillorgan, County Dublin, Ireland; ‡Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; §School of Mathematics, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland; and ¶Department of Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute.

Send reprint requests to Eadbhard O'Callaghan, MD, Stanley Research Unit, Cluain Mhuire Family Centre, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.